"Society As I Have Found It" 1890 MCALLISTER, Ward (SOLD)

[469] pp.

 Cassell Publishing Company

8" x 6"

w/ the armorial stag head leather ex-libris bookplate of Blairhame, the Tuxedo Park, NY estate of John and Natalie Blair, whose elegant English country manor house was designed in 1915 by Carriere and Hastings.


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A marvelous document of the Gilded Age. The author was the self-appointed arbiter of New York Society from the 1860's to the early 1890's. He coined the phrase "the Four Hundred." According to McAllister, this was the number of people in New York who really mattered; the people who felt at ease in the ballrooms of high society. The number was popularly supposed to be the capacity of Mrs. William Backhouse Astor's ballroom. city at the time. Although purported to be an index of New York's best families, McAllister's list was suspiciously top-heavy with nouveau riche industrialists, and McAllister's southern allies. He was largely responsible for turning the simple seaside resort of Newport, Rhode Island for the pleasure-seeking, status-conscious rich of the Gilded Age.